Sunday, September 29, 2019

Ruth Reichl's Sriracha Shrimp

I've been eyeing Ruth's Sriracha Shrimp ever since I got my copy of her cookbook, My Kitchen Year. In her cookbook, Ruth serves the Sriracha Shrimp over coconut rice, which I'm sure is delicious.  I had all the ingredients for the coconut rice, but my husband and I weren't overly hungry and we typically like our shrimp served all on its own, straight out of the pan.

With or without the rice, this is an extremely easy and flavorful dish that comes together in no time. Simply marinate the shrimp in Sriracha and a touch of lime juice. While it's marinating go ahead and cut up an onion and some garlic and ginger. Cook the aromatics until the onion is translucent and then toss in the shrimp and the marinade, stirring until the shrimp are cooked through.

You'll be enjoying a spicy and flavorful dish in no time! This is really good if you're a Sriracha fan. The shrimp aren't too spicy on their own, but if you were worried about the spice level then the coconut rice would definitely help to take some of the heat away. This was really good and easy. I can definitely see myself making it again.

Sriracha Shrimp
Adapted by My Kitchen Year
by Ruth Reichl
Serves 3-4

1 pound shrimp (thawed, shelled, and deveined)
1 lime, quartered
2-3 tablespoons Sriracha sauce
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, diced
1 small knob of ginger, peeled and diced*
2 tablespoons butter and/or oil, for frying

Place the thawed shrimp in a shallow bowl and squirt a little lime juice over them. Drizzle the shrimp with 2-3 tablespoons of Sriracha and toss to coat. Allow the shrimp to marinate for about 15 minutes.

Place butter and/or oil in a large skillet over medium heat, cook the onion, ginger, and garlic for 3-5 minutes until the onion is translucent. Turn the heat up to medium-high and toss in the shrimp and the marinade. Cook for about 2 -3 minutes, until shrimp is cooked through. Take shrimp off heat and serve immediately.  

This dish was meant to be served over coconut rice, but we weren't very hungry so we served the shrimp on their own with a little lime wedge on the side.

*Note: I left out the ginger because my husband isn't a fan.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Tessa Kiros' Apple Bread with Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Topping

 Is there anything more glorious than the smell of apples and brown sugar baking away in the oven?

Grate a few of your favorite apples. We are obsessed with Honeycrisp apples, so Honeycrisp it is. Add those grated apples to a batter spiced with cardamom and cinnamon. We're talking major fall vibes here.

Top the batter with a mix of brown sugar, chopped walnuts, and cinnamon. I don't have to tell you that this topping is delicious. We all know that brown sugar is like magic. Think candied walnut topping here.

This bread is deeper in color than other classic quick breads and that's ok because again, brown sugar friends. So don't fret. The crumb holds plenty of moisture from the apples and the topping, speaks for itself. 

Apple Bread with Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Topping
Adapted from Apples for Jam
by Tessa Kiros
Cuts into 10-12 slices

scant 3/4 cup sugar
1/4 pound, plus 3 tablespoons butter (11 tablespoons)
2 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
about 2 apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely grated
2/3 cups walnuts, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped (omitted)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2/3 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

 Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter and flour a 12 by 4-inch loaf pan. Beat together the sugar and butter until fluffy. Add the eggs, and beat them in well. Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cardamom, and cinnamon in, and add a pinch of salt. Mix well. Add the apples, walnuts, and vanilla, and mix those through well. Scrape the mixture into the pan.

For the topping, mix together the walnuts, sugar, and cinnamon, and then scatter abundantly over the top of the batter. Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the top is crusty brown and a skewer poked into the middle comes out clean. Check after 30 minutes and cover the top with foil if it is already quite brown.

Cool slightly before turning out carefully. Do this over your serving plate so that you don't lose any topping. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature, on its own, with whipped cream, or with a simple vanilla ice cream.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Yotam Ottolenghi's Most Exquisite Caramelized Garlic Tart {A Must Make}

I'm an expert at procrastinating and I have a LONG list of recipes that I have been putting off for one reason or another. Maybe the ingredient list is too long, or the recipe takes too long, maybe the ingredients are hard to source and/or they're too expensive, and then there's also the fact that maybe my family might not like the recipe and I'll be the only one to eat it.

Yotam Ottolenghi's Caramelized Garlic Tart has been on my list for years now and I've put it off because I didn't think I could source the Goat Gouda cheese it requires. I also put it off because it's fussier than most recipes I make, requiring the advance forethought to thaw puff pastry and use pie weights, etc. Plus, I wasn't sure if my family would like this one, and I was sure that I would, which means that I'd very likely be eating the whole thing myself.

So thanks to this week's theme, Procrastinator's Special, I had the push I needed to make the recipe. I didn't think I'd find the Goat Gouda cheese, but it turns out my market had it. Score! What I wasn't prepared for is my store to be completely out of garlic! WHAT?? Thankfully I got the last package of already peeled garlic and went ahead and used that, which turned out to be somewhat of a blessing since this recipe required 3 heads of peeled garlic!

Now I was dealing with the high cost of the recipe. Puff pastry, goat cheese, goat gouda, creme fraiche, fresh herbs, heavy cream, etc. You get the drift. This is a $30 tart. I don't usually cook recipes that costly, but every once in awhile it's nice to splurge.

Now we've come to the part that holds me back from a lot of recipes: the family isn't going to like it. Well, let me tell you something, EVERYONE LOVED THIS TART! It is seriously up there with some of the best recipes I've made on my blog!

You've probably seen this tart all over the place. It is, after all, one of Yotam Ottolenghi's signature recipes. Mostly, you've seen recipes of the tart with all it's caramelized garlic glory, but what you haven't seen is the inside of the tart, with all the creamy goat cheese. Holy cow, this tart is glorious, it's perfectly seasoned, and it needs nothing else. It is complete and total perfection! It's tangy, creamy, sweet, with the most lovely mild garlic flavor, herbaceous, crispy, buttery, and flaky. You won't believe how delicious it is. You'll find yourself going back for another slice and dreaming about a time when you can make it again.

This is hands down a MUST MAKE recipe. It's worth the trouble to source the ingredients, worth the time, worth the cost, and just plain worth the fuss. It is absolutely exquisite!

"I think this is the most delicious recipe in the world" - Yotam Ottolenghi's friend, Claudine, after testing it for his book Plenty

Caramelized Garlic Tart
Adapted from Plenty
by Yotam Ottolenghi
Serves 4

13 ounces puff pastry
3 medium heads of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 cup water
3/4 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped thyme, plus a few whole sprigs to finish
4 -1/2 ounces soft, creamy goat cheese (such as chevre)
4-12 ounces hard, mature goat cheese (such as goat gouda)
2 eggs
6-1/2 tablespoons heavy cream
6-1/2 tablespoons creme fraiche
black pepper
Parchment paper, pie weights (or beans) for baking tart

Have ready a shallow, loose-bottomed 11-inch fluted tart pan (I have a 9" tart pan and it worked just fine). Roll out the puff pastry into a circle that will line the bottom and sides of the pan, plus be sure to have a little extra puff pastry hanging over the sides as it will shrink while baking. Line the pan with the pastry. Place a large circle of waxed paper on the bottom and fillup with pie weights or dried beans. Leave to rest in the fridge for about 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350F. Place the tart shell in the oven and blind bake for 20 minutes. Remove the weights and paper, then bake for 5 to 10 minutes more, or until the pastry is golden. Set aside. Leave the oven on.  

While the tart shell is baking, make the caramelized garlic. Put the cloves in a small saucepan and cover with plenty of water. Bring to a simmer and blanch for 3 minutes, then drain well. Dry the saucepan, return the cloves to it and add the olive oil. Fry the garlic cloves on high heat for 2 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and water and bring to the boil, then simmer gently for 10 minutes. Add the sugar, rosemary, chopped thyme, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Continue simmering on a medium flame for 10 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated and the garlic cloves are coated in dark caramel syrup. Set aside.

To assemble the tart, break both types of goat cheese into pieces and scatter in the tart shell.  Spoon the garlic cloves and syrup evenly over the cheese. In a jug whisk together the eggs, cream, creme fraiche, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and some black pepper. Pour this custard over the tart filling to fill the gaps, making sure that you can still see the garlic and cheese over the surface (I went ahead and added the garlic and the liquid to the top, after adding the egg mixture, in order to be sure the lovely caramelized bits of garlic were on top).

Reduce the oven temperature to 325F and place the tart inside. Bake for 35-45 minutes (mine cooked in less than 30 minutes), or until the tart filling has set and the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool a little. Then take out of the pan, trim the pastry edge if needed, lay a few sprigs of thyme on top and serve warm (it reheats well!) with a crisp salad, or without.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Jacques and Julia's Garlic Mashed Potatoes {Made with Fresh Homemade Garlic Powder}

Last Saturday I went to my local Farmer's Market and found the coolest thing, Fresh Homemade Garlic Powder! I picked up the tiny bag and right away I was struck by the most amazing aroma. I have to tell you, smelling this fresh garlic powder was mind-blowing and life-changing for me as a cook. I wish you could smell how aromatic it was, the very essence of garlic with buttery notes. I simply could not stop smelling it. It was intoxicating!

I never thought to question the garlic powder we buy in stores, but after smelling this fresh homemade garlic powder, I could never go back. Please trust me and try sourcing some for yourself, or search online, and find a recipe to make your own. It's so very worth it and would make great gifts for friends and family.

Needless to say, we've been eating everything garlic all week long. I've been sprinkling that garlic powder on everything! So, when I bought a roast on sale and was looking for a potato recipe, Jacques and Julia's Garlic Mashed Potatoes were just the thing!

Instead of peeling 10-15 cloves of garlic, I looked up guidelines for using my garlic powder and found that you can substitute 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder for each clove of garlic, so I did just that! Now, this is where I'll issue a disclaimer: this homemade garlic powder is very fresh and I felt confident using it in place of fresh garlic. I would not use regular storebought garlic powder in place of fresh garlic.

I loved how easy these mashed potatoes came together with the ease of the homemade garlic powder. It was so much faster than peeling all those cloves and mashing them into the potatoes. However, this recipe is worth making either way. Everyone loved these! The garlic was just the right amount and not overpowering at all. This is a delicious recipe that is perfect comfort food! Jacques and Julia for the win!

Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Adapted from Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home
by Julia Child and Jacques Pepin
Serves 6-8

2-3 pounds Yukon potatoes (I prefer Russet) 
salt and pepper
milk (approx 2/3 cup)
4 tablespoons salted butter, plus more for garnishing
2/3 to 1 cup heavy whipping cream 
10-15 cloves garlic (*or fresh homemade garlic powder)

*Note: I had some fresh homemade garlic powder from my farmer's market that is out of this world delicious, so I used that in place of fresh garlic. You can use 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder in place of each garlic clove.

Peel the garlic and place in a small saucepan. Next, pour in the heavy whipping cream and milk until the garlic is covered (I used my fresh homemade garlic powder, 1 cup heavy whipping cream, and 2/3 cups milk). Heat over low heat, watching periodically. If you're using fresh garlic, you'll want the garlic to become so soft it "mushes" when you touch it with a spatula. This process takes at least 20-30 minutes and only gets better the longer you wait. Of course, I wasn't using fresh garlic so I allowed my garlic powder, cream, and milk to cook over low heat for about 30 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld. 

Add your potatoes to a large pot, cover with cold water, and add a generous amount of salt to the water. Let the potatoes boil until they are soft and can be pierced with a fork.

Now it's time to marry all the ingredients together.  Drain the potatoes and put them back in the pot on the stove to cook off the remaining moisture. At this point, I always pass my potatoes through a food mill or a potato ricer because that is what yields that very creamiest mashed potatoes. You can do that, or mash them with a potato masher. If you've used fresh garlic cloves make sure you press the garlic through a mesh strainer or mash the garlic with the back of a spatula or spoon. You want to be sure to get the garlic mashed and incorporated into the potatoes! 

Now add the potatoes (and garlic, if using fresh) back into the pan and add the butter and cream mixture and stir, whipping the potatoes with a whisk or a wooden spoon, until you get the desired creamy consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place into a bowl and garnish with a little more butter.